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"A basement interior design remodel can enhance living space and selling value."

Basement interior design can be an exciting prospect. For many people, a basement is a significantly under-used and inhospitable space. However, with the right conditions and plan you can transform this rough stone into a shining gem.

Basement Rec Room

But before diving headlong into your basement interior design project, there are definitely some things to consider.

The H2O Must Go

First things first. You have got to make sure your basement is dry. A perpetually wet or damp basement is a recipe for design disaster because it will ruin the materials you use to finish your project.

If you have a wet basement challenge, don’t despair. It’s quite possible to get it made suitable for finishing. Make sure your rain gutters are clear and the downspout configuration is not causing water to puddle next to your home’s foundation. The immediate terrain around your home should be sloped enough to divert water away from the foundation.

Consult with a building professional on other possible techniques that can be used to resolve ground water problems that may not be obvious. There are different solutions available for different needs.

Combine Warmth and Atmosphere

Once any water problem is resolved you will want to consider a heat source. Naturally, with a basement situated mostly below ground it will be a cool space. You may be able to get a solution by working with your current household heating system.

A type of heating source I like is a gas fireplace or stove. This not only provides a clean burning source of warmth, but it also provides atmosphere. Good basement interior design includes an element of atmosphere, right? You bet!

Check out various heating options and consult with a professional to see what might work best in your specific situation.

Stand Up Straight

Now I sound like your mother, right? Ah...it's not what you're thinking! I just wanted to point out that you will need a certain degree of ceiling clearance to make your basement a functional, living space. Having at least 7' or 8' should work. Less that that will likely cause problems. You don’t want to have to crouch down to move through your space. Your pets may not have a problem with it, but you and your guests will get annoyed very fast!

New Basement Floor

Many homes built in the last twenty five years have decent ceiling clearance. But basements with unacceptably low ceilings do exist and may not offer much in terms of valuable living space. These situations could serve as storage solutions...assuming, of course, that you have resolved any water problems.

Refine the View

As you survey your basement's current appearance you might find that pipes and wires are within sight. This situation can be resolved by finishing off your basement's surfaces. There are wall and ceiling systems that can be installed to effectively hide these unsightly elements. Yep, there are even panels available that resemble drywall to finish the appearance of the block walls. Look for wall solutions that are mold and mildew resistant, insulated, acoustical and seamless. The transformation from block wall to finished surface is amazing!

The unsightly tangle of pipes and wires along the ceiling overhead can be concealed with a suspended ceiling. The situation may also be resolved with more traditional materials like drywall. Building professionals should be consulted in any of these basement finishing situations since re-routing of some electrical of plumbing components may be necessary.

As you are planning your basement remodel consider the lighting scheme you wish to have in the space as well. Lighting is important in any living space, but it takes on added importance in a traditionally gloomy space like a basement. Try to include the three types of interior lighting for best effect and function.



Choose a Great Floor

Are you ready to tackle the flooring in your basement interior design? With your water problems resolved you have a variety of choices for your existing concrete floor. Depending on your choice, you may also want to consider adding a radiant heat product beneath the flooring to enjoy a warmer feeling.

As far as choices go, laminate flooring could be an attractive option for you. Laminate is very durable and is made to look like real hardwood or stone tile. Various styles are available. Laminate is easy to maintain, is hard-wearing and looks great by itself or layered with areas rugs.

If the possibility of occasional floor moisture is still a concern for you or if your floor has some surface imperfections, you may want to choose a vinyl floor product for your basement interior design plan. Its flexible, waterproof nature is more forgiving. You can get vinyl flooring that even looks like real wood and is installed in a plank format. The stuff looks great!

An alternate option is stamped concrete overlay. A skim of new concrete material gets worked over your existing concrete floor and then is stamped and colored to look like natural stone or tile. It's pretty impressive, too.

If skimming and stamping doesn't appeal to you, consider the option of staining your existing concrete floor. This can produce some very beautiful results as well.

Looking for a softer touch? There's carpeting to consider. It exudes a feeling of warmth underfoot because of its softer, textural nature. If you choose carpet for your basement interior design, consider a version that is constructed of polypropylene (olefin) fiber. It is moisture and mildew resistant, yet quite durable.

Basement Media Room

Always consult a flooring professional for a flooring option that is right for your specific, basement renovation scenario.

Create an Exciting Style

And now things get really fun. There are so many directions you can take the style of your basement interior design. Let your imagination run wild.

Of course you want to think about the function of the intended space. How will the room be used? Ultimately, whatever style you create should support that function. But imagine the possibilities…

• Sophisticated Jazz Lounge

• Whimsical Play Land

• High-tech Media Room

• Retro Arcade

• Restful Guest Bedroom / Bathroom Suite

• Professional Home Office

Okay...I'll end the list there. I think you've got the idea.

If you plan to subdivide your basement space into multiple rooms, consider minimizing the appearance of existing support posts by placing new walls along the lines of the current post positions. You can enhance any remaining, visible support posts with column encasements. This can add some attractive architectural flare to otherwise ordinary posts.

Consider a light, cheery color palette to offset some of the natural gloominess of a basement environment. For more color and style tips be sure to check out my other interior design pages.

By ensuring your space is both warm and dry, you will have set the stage to create a basement interior design plan that’s as perfect as any other room in your home. You can create a space to enjoy and be proud of. Plus…you will likely get a greater return on the value of your home if you decide to sell it down the road. What’s not to like about that?



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